Our flight was to take off from the airport at 1:00 AM on 10th May. We left home at around 7 PM (we believe in ‘better arrive early and wait’ than’ be late and panic’) as we had to take two taxis to accommodate the luggage we had and getting taxis that are willing to go the place you wish to go is purely on luck. Well, we were fortunate that evening and managed to reach well ahead of time. Bhabi’s parents had also come to the airport to see us off. We asked them and our in-laws to leave soon as there was no point in them waiting late into the night as our flight was further delayed by an hour and the later they would start; the probability of getting a taxi would further diminish. Ma, who put forward a brave front so far, burst out with tears gushing as though the gate of a dam had been opened for the water to flow. Bhaiyya and Bhabi spoke over the phone and started crying from the other end and also told that the nieces sobbed earlier that day. But for some reason, neither Abbas nor I were emotional (I think the worry about the move turning fruitful marred any sentiments that must have been lurking within). Mantam were excited about the journey as they were thankful that we didn’t have to stay in Kolkata any longer.
After waving good-byes, we set foot into the airport and went through the check-in formalities. We were done within about half an hour and then had to wait in the lounge for the departure. We were all extremely hungry, so Abbas got some burgers and chips to hush our growling tummies. We whiled away the waiting time by speaking to a few near and dear ones before getting on to the plane. The announcement was finally made and we queued up to board the flight. We were to have a stopover at Kaulalumpur and a gap of two hours and then a flight from there to Sydney.
We were all so thrilled. It was Mantam’s second flight journey but the first was when they were a year old and they barely remember the experience. When the flight took off, Tammu blushed and said “Mumma, is this real or a dream?” Mannu was excited too and had a lot of questions. I was finally glad to be to spending some quality time with them which I had missed for not sure how long. We had pre-ordered our food when we had booked the tickets and in our eagerness we had ordered a lot. Whatever was served was extremely delicious and we didn’t have the heart to chuck the extras in the bin. We stuffed ourselves to the brim, which eventually helped us tackle the adrenaline high we were just about to experience.
Thus we reached KL and there was some issue due to which the exit doors were not opening. They were trying to fix it which further delayed our exit by 30 mins. We just had 30 mins to catch the next and the airport in Malaysia was like a vast ocean. We went to the first counter we came across after stepping out of the flight and enquired on where we must be headed to. We were asked to show our visa docs and flight tickets and passports. The lady then sent us to some other counter to get our passports stamped. Then we were asked to go in some direction to catch the flight. Again we were lost after walking a certain distance. No boards displayed came to rescue. We went to a security check post and asked them which direction should we head and they asked us to get the baggage check done again and get in, same thing repeated at three different check points inspite of us telling them that we have already got it done and basically we are lost. I panicked big time as we just had 5 mins left for the departure. We finally spotted a board which showed our flight number and the boarding gate number. We ran in that direction. Mantam just gave up and came to a halt and said that they are not able to walk any more. We were in no position ourselves to carry them as we had enough check-in baggages to lug around and run ourselves. We pleaded with them to co-operate for 5 more mins and thankfully they obliged. The said boarding gate was nowhere in sight as we kept walking and running and jugging and dragging ourselves furthermore. Then I saw a man in AirAsia uniform with an intercom, he seemed to be more distressed than us and came forward to enquire “Which flight? Which flight?” On telling him, he muttered something on the intercom and told us that the flight was waiting and not to worry. I waved at Abbas and kids, who were at a fair distance behind me huffing and puffing to catch breath, to take it easy! We made it 5 mins late but the staff were still waiting for some more folks even after us. Abbas told me that I took unnecessary stress as they wouldn’t have left as it was due to the delay at their end, that they would know that passengers from the previous flight would take time to reach. But at that moment I had completely lost my mind and was running in the airport like a zombie.
We were finally relieved after taking our seats. We didn’t even have the time to message Bhaiyya or Ma that we were safe and sound after the first flight.